Nothing pairs better with starvation wages, massive student debt and a stagnant job market than a full-bodied red.
Us millennials are the most overeducated, underemployed and underpaid generation this country has ever seen. It’s no surprise we like to drink away the pain, but what’s truly surprising is that wine, of all things, is our drink of choice.
Despite other boozy beverages containing way more alcohol and being branded to suit our idiosyncratic little tastes, we still go for the drink that has the least personality and will get us the least drunk. For some ungodly reason, we’ve appropriated the stuffiest, most pompous and least relatable beverage to be our mascot-du-drunk, and it’s fucking weird.
In fact, wine has been so appropriated by millennials that a report by USA Today determined that millennials consumed 42 percent of all wine sold in the United States in 2015. In fact, we drink more wine than any other generation. For comparison, Baby Boomers made up 38 percent of regular wine drinkers and Gen Xers made up 20 percent. According to Jezebel, “Legal Millennials” (those over 21) threw back nearly 160 million cases of wine last year (an average of two cases per person). What’s the explanation behind all of this wino quaffing?
It’s never been easier to look refined while being a complete broke-ass
Wine is cheap. Wine is alcoholic. Most millennials are poor. Ta-dah! While a nice craft sixer will likely cost upwards of $10, an inexpensive, higher percentage bottle of wine is going to be closer to the $3-$5 range. Wine is also just culturally synonymous with sophistication and relaxation; meaning even though our lives may not resemble any of those things, we can, at least for a moment (or however long that bottle lingers on the kitchen counter) pretend to be fancy.
According to Jezebel, one-in-six millennials paid over $20 for a bottle of wine in the past month. We’re assuming said $20 bottle of wine was either a birthday present for a mutual millennial wino friend or an “expensive” impulsive selection made by a millennial after a moderately successful serving shift at PF Chang’s.
Because drinking is “good for us”
There's nothing millennials love more than medicinal vices (weed, ketamine, kale), and there’s a slew of information out there on the alleged benefits of drinking wine. Packed with antioxidants and resveratrol, red wines have been linked to everything from longer life expectancy to higher brain performance to better sex.
According to Life Hack, when compared with wine drinkers, modest beer or liquor drinkers had four times the odds of having suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. See? The numbers don’t lie. Wine is just good for us. It’s like a big liquid daily multi-vitamin, and since we can't afford gym memberships, Affordable Care is way out of our budgets, and we live in a slowly gentrifying neighborhood where people are still stabbed in front of the artisanal cheese store, wine is the closest thing we can make to a healthy choice.
Rick Ross made us do it
It seems like every third rapper nowadays strictly gets wasted on Rosé. Rick Rose even goes by the nickname ‘Ricky Rosé’ now, presumably for the invaluable street cred that comes with drinking the most emasculating alcoholic beverage known to man. The pink drink has apparently replaced a brimming goblet of Hennessy and Hypnotic as the modern rapper’s go-to drink of choice. All jokes aside, the numbers on the subject are rather interesting. Back in the strange, post-Willennium hell that was 2002, songs such as “Pass the Courvoisier” by Busta Rhymes and P Diddy correlated with a 19 percent increase in sales for Courvoisier the following year, according to a report by Cognac Expert. And now that Rick Ross won't shut up about old grape juice … wine sales are seeing a similar pattern.
And since we have no role models to look up to other than whoever's ruling the Twitter-verse, Rick Ross's word is law. Wine it is.
It hides our desperately pathetic inhabitation of the realm between adult child and actual adult
Like we mentioned before, wine is "fancy." People go to school for wine. People can taste it and tell a story about where it came from and what soil the grapes grew out of and whether anyone on the vineyard farted that day. That all seems like real adult stuff.
We want to be adults.
Not in the sense that we want to take responsibility for our Verizon bills or have to figure out what an "estimated tax" is (note to self: look up estimated tax), but more in the sense that we want our friends to think we're better than them. We want to come off as more together, more mature, and above all, more cultured, all things that come with age. We want goddamn scented candles and thoughtfully placed throw pillows and an obscure record collection that's incapable of being discussed without belittling someone's music taste. We want outdoor furniture. We want a cutting board made of not-plastic. We want a bowl of fucking lemons on our fucking IKEA TABLES FOR FUCKING … SHOW. AND STUFF.
Wine is the official beverage of these things.
To us, bringing a Grenache/Syrah blend to our friend's engagement party says, "Why yes, I can believe people my age are getting married, because that is the natural progression of things." It says "I do know the work of (insert artist here … not sure of any)." It says "Let's discuss the motives and themes of that film in a way that I will try to one-up you with my original intellect though I have not actually seen it."
Wine is the person we want to be in drink form. Hornitos tequila is the person we are, but Chateau Barrington Pinto Gris 2009 is the person we will be … right after we finishing watching Making a Murder, which is highly engrossing, thank you very much for asking.
So yeah. Wine.